Massachusetts: Construction Workers 6X More Likely to Die from Opioid Related Deaths

The Boston Herald reports that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has found that individuals with “dangerous” jobs were more likely to die from opioid-related overdoses.

The overdoses are linked to prescriptions meant to treat work-related injuries and affect those who are more likely to be work in roofing, painting, pipe laying and carpentry. Overall, individuals working in construction were six times more likely to die from overdoses.

The report states:

“DPH looked at 4,302 opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts from 2011 to 2015 by industry and occupation to understand whether work-related injuries might have contributed to opioid use disorders. It found that of 4,284 worker death certificates, 1,096 were found to be employed in construction. The opioid-related death rate for these workers was six times the average rate for all Massachusetts workers with 150.6 deaths per 100,000 workers as compared to the 25.1 average. The rate was also five times higher than the average among those in the fishing industry.”

Part of it is the physical work and toll it takes on someone’s body as they go about their career.

Bert Durand of the New England Regional Council of carpenters told the Herald, “Part of it is the physical work and toll it takes on someone’s body as they go about their career. Part of it is how opioids have been handled in the medical establishment. All these factors have conspired to do a lot of damage to people working in the construction industry.”

2 thoughts on “Massachusetts: Construction Workers 6X More Likely to Die from Opioid Related Deaths”

  1. Rather than highlighting construction workers, examine the number of deaths involving those who had no health insurance. They are self employed. They must work to feed themselves and their family. They can’t afford to take off work much less pay for good medical treatment. They can’t afford medical insurance.
    They take whatever they can find to dull the pain so they can work. Sometimes it is a prescription, theirs or one bought on the street. Sometimes it is meth. They are painfully aware of their addiction, but they must work, must earn enough to provide for their loved ones.
    Then the chest pain hits. Hard. And they die on the construction site.

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